Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Weight of You

This is my third post in participation with the Just Write challenge.

We’re sitting on the couch after a movie. It’s definitely Mommy’s bedtime, but we have to wait for Dad to put the sheets back on the bed. I don’t mind because it means a few more minutes of this. This wonderful cuddling we are doing. You are passed out on my shoulder – out like a light. Your little body has already gotten so heavy, and I feel the limp weight of you hanging on my shoulder like a sack of rice. The sweetest sack of rice you could possibly imagine.
There is a burning deep underneath my left shoulder blade from leaning awkwardly to my right to keep you comfortable, but I can ignore it for a while longer. It’s worth it to have your soft, chubby little cheek resting against mine. Sitting like this I can feel your heavy, sleepy breath against my neck. I can smell your sweet, milky smell. Your fingers curl sporadically against my back. Your cheeks flinch and your eyelids flutter with your dreams. What is it you dream about, sweet boy? Am I in there somewhere?
The burning is too much, so I sadly shift back to my left. You fall away from my cheek. At least now I can get a look at you. I notice the way your hair is starting to thin. I was hoping you would keep your hair, but I know I’ll love a bald baby, too. Your perfect lips are working, pursing and relaxing in your dreams. I think that dream must have something to do with at least one part of me.
How are you possible? You little bundle of perfection. I feel the weight of you, heavy on my chest and immense in my heart.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

What amazes me about you

In a word: Everything.
But let me try to be more specific.

Your hands.
They were one of the first things I noticed about you after you were born. I did the typical first time parent thing and immediately counted to make sure there were ten little fingers and ten little toes in the appropriate places - and I was struck - Wow! Look at those hands! They were so big for such a small little thing. More like paws than hands. That's what I started calling them: your man paws. It's one of the reasons you are Momma's Mr. Man.
Every great man I have known has had good hands. Large and strong. I don't know how that has worked out, but it has. Maybe their hands were good because they were great men; because they were men of character who worked hard every day. Or maybe their hands had been tools that allowed them to become the great men they were. I'm not sure. But either way, my son, you have the hands of a great man. I hope they will serve you well. I hope one day you will use them to build, create, and to protect. But until then, I look forward to watching you learn to use them to play and to write.
And, of course, to hold Mommy's hand.

Your hair.
You had so much of it when you were born! Everywhere! Your arms and  back were covered in dark fuzz. And you had sideburns! No, not just sideburns: chops. Full on, 1970's chops. They were impressive. (A few hours after you were born I announced to the room that I thought you looked like Wolverine from the X-Men. You have these angular eyebrows, you had the chops and all the hair, and your head was slightly coned in the back in a way that lent itself to the whole angular thing that Wolverine has going on. We all laughed and momma felt proud of her Little Man.) Not a single person who has met you has neglected to mention your awesome hair. Of course, the body hair has long since rubbed off. And now the hair on your head is beginning to fall out in patches, which is sort of bittersweet. I loved your hair so much. I would smooth it behind your ears as you nursed or slept in my lap. But a bald baby is a pretty great thing, too.

Your smile.
You don't use it often - you're too busy being curious about the world - and I'm not entirely sure you've even used it deliberately yet, but man... when you do, it changes everything. All is right. The worlds shifts. Stars align. Hearts melt. All of that.
It's that good.

Your nursing skills.
You were a champ from the start. It took you less than 45 minutes from the moment you were born to latch. You just did it on your own, like you knew it was what you were supposed to do, and you never really stopped.
And to that end:

How fast you are growing.
From this ....                                                                                               ...  to this!! In 7 weeks!
Seriously. You are unstoppable. You weighed 7lbs.8oz. when you were born. Exactly one week later, you weighed 8lbs.9oz! Another week later you were already 9lbs.3oz. Two weeks more: 11lbs.3oz! Your original 21 inches stretched to 22 3/4 in that same five weeks, so you stayed pretty skinny despite the weight gain. But I think you're slowing down on the vertical growth, because boy! have you begun to pack on the rolls! Up until now, you've been Mr. Man or Little Man to me, which I liked because it was so specific to you - no other baby has ever been Mr. Man in my life. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid the Chunky Monkey nickname - one I've used for multiple chunky sweet babies in my life - because that's what you have become: a chunker. Other suggested nicknames to accommodate for this change are: Michelin Man, Bubba Jr (your Dad is Bubba to his sister) and Tank.
Anyway! I digress.
Your growing big and strong and healthy, and I'm so proud of you.
Today, at seven weeks and four days old, you weigh FOURTEEN POUNDS!

Your independence.
Already, you deal with so much on your own. When your tummy bothers you, your instant reaction is not to cry and call for me. In fact, it takes you a long time to ever get to the point of crying. You lay there on your own and grunt and wriggle a bit. It can hardly even be called fussing. Half the time I don't realize your tummy had been upset until after you've thrown up. Tough little kid. Mommy hates to throw up and cries every single time. Already, you're showing me up.
You can put yourself to sleep, too. No binky needed. No mommy to cuddle. Of course, we don't do this every time because that would break Mommy's heart. Mommy needs to cuddle. But you don't. Not every time, at least.
And that, my son, brings me to one of the other things that amazes me about you:

Your soul.
It's old and wise already. I can see it in your eyes. In the inquisitive way you work your eyebrows and tilt your head. In the way you handle life already. It almost surprises me when you do cry and remind me that you are, in fact, less than two months old.

You, my amazing son, are going to take this world by storm.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I wanna talk about me

While I'm searching for the words to describe my perfect little boy, allow me, if you will, a moment for some self absorption.

I miss alcohol.
Yep. You heard me. I miss it.
Now, don't go overreacting, dear reader. I'm no alcoholic. I don't need to drink. It just tastes so darn good sometimes! And I miss feeling like a grown up. I miss sharing a bottle of wine (or two) with my girlfriends. I miss date nights with  my hubby that involve some wonderfully overpriced cocktails. I'm tired of, "Soda water with lime, please."
While I was pregnant, THE biggest craving I had - maybe the only craving, really - was beer. God, I wanted beer SO badly. It was such a hot summer, and I was so huge and tired. And hot! But I already said that. Nothing sounded better than cracking open a cold beer. And let me just say! If anyone in the world deserves a cold beer on a hot summer afternoon, it's a pregnant woman. Pregnancy is such hard work! Not to mention, we walk around at about ten degrees warmer than everyone around us. It's one of the great injustices of the world: getting saddled with the heaviest loads you'll ever carry, but unable to even consider 'taking a load off' at the end of a hot day.
Of course, I write this in jest. Sort of. The baby is, without question, worth a dry summer. But that didn't keep me from being jealous of my husband's cold brew.
Right after Drake was born, the craving made an instant shift from beer - which, I've been told, is even helpful to breast feeding women - to wine. I even had my Dad bring a growler of one of my favorite dark, malty, locally brewed porters to the birthing suite because I thought I wanted it so badly. I took one sip and pushed it away. Nope. Now I want wine.
So I'm excited to try something like this wine club idea. Thirty bucks a month is a totally manageable budgetary addition, and it will give me the occasional reason to feel like a big girl; an adult; a woman; a wife - and not just a mom. (Which is, of course, the best part - I just want the other parts, too. I want it all, dear readers.) Plus, I'll get to try a bunch of yummy new wines I probably couldn't find in tiny Helena, Montana.
Beyond that, I think I'll plan something fun for my birthday, which is coming up in March. I'll make sure I have plenty of breast milk stored up, find myself a baby sitter, and throw myself a party. A Put-On-Your-Cocktail-Dress, Pop-Open-the-Bubbly kinda party. Who's in??

Monday, January 23, 2012

Describing the indescribable

There has never been anything bigger that has happened to me; never anything more important than the birth of my son. I should be gushing with words of love and amazement, but for some reason, I can't seem to.
I feel them - the love and amazement. Believe me, I do. But I can't think them. I can't assign them words, organize them into thoughts.
I started this blog for two reasons: 1- to practice this thing I love to do: write. And 2- to record the magic of my pregnancy and the birth of my first child. To put words to the moments that leave you speechless. Because that's what this journey into parenthood is: a series of brand new experiences that knock the wind out of you over and over again. Its impossibly overwhelming.
But for a while there, I was doing pretty well with both objectives. I found ways to tell you about the amazing - or sometimes, not so amazing - things that were happening to me. I captured the way I felt when I found out I was pregnant and when I first heard his heart beat.
But then something happened. I'm not sure exactly when, but at some point this experience grew beyond my grasp. The moments and the emotions stretched beyond my ability to relate to you.
They were officially indescribable.
So here I am, left wanting to tell you about the way my incredible little boy has changed my life, about how much I love every square inch of him, but there literally aren't words.
All that I have are overused, insufficient phrases:
Nothing will ever be the same.
I wouldn't trade it for anything.
I love him more than anything else in this world.
I would do anything for him.

All true. And yet there's so, so much more than that.
I'll keep looking for the words - and I'll let you know when I find them.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Way He Sounds

It's just one of the million little details I am fighting like hell to log away somewhere very safe. He is so absolutely perfect. Right now. And tomorrow he will be different, but perfect all over again. I just want to remember every single step. Every new kind of perfect. Is that too much to ask?

This is the way he sounds when he's sleeping. It's a particular kind of sweetness. (You will most likely have to turn up the sound on your computer - it's pretty quiet.)

Good old baby sounds. Baby boys sounds. Lots of grunting, a little cooing.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My sunshine

Drake and I have taken to listening to the Pandora lullaby station at night. You Are My Sunshine gets a lot of plays. I've heard it a million times - it was my nieces favorite song for a long time - but it hits me a little differently now because of these words:

"The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamt I held you in my arms. When I awoke, dear, I was mistaken, so I hung my head and cried."

Somewhere around seven months pregnant I had the most vivid dream about my son. We were laying in my bed, cuddling. That's it. So simple. He was here, and I was holding him. When I woke up to realize it was only a dream, I was truly and deeply sad. It would still be weeks before that would be true.
Now that he's here, my life couldn't be sweeter. Cuddling with my little man is a reality of every day and my heart is so full. "Please don't take my sunshine away."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bath time!

Drake wasn't so sure if he liked baths at first, but today he decided to relax and enjoy himself, giving us a good chance to snap a few of the mandatory Naked In The Bath pictures. :)

I can't get enough of this baby! Look at those eyes!
Baby boys will be baby boys. :)
All clean!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

He's growing so fast!

Seriously. Right in front of my eyes. We will fall asleep for a few hours at night and then when he wakes up to nurse I could swear he's heavier than he was when we fell asleep. He'll be five weeks old tomorrow and already I've lamented the loss of my tiny baby several times over. Isn't that too soon?
We went to Bozeman today for a check up with our midwife. Already Drake has grown one and three quarter inches and gained three pounds and eleven ounces! He weighed in at 11 lbs 3 1/2 oz. Crazy.
He's fitting very comfortably into three month outfits. My plan for tomorrow is to pack up the newborn clothes. Already! My handsome little man is no longer a newborn. :(
So, I'm sorry I haven't been posting more often but I can't take my eyes off him!
I'll miss so much if I do.